Germany is planning to buy four to six Lockheed Martin C-130J transport planes instead of Airbus A400 military cargo aircraft due to repeated delays in their delivery.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyern signed a declaration of intent in Paris to pool the yet-to-be-acquired Lockheed Martin military transport planes with the same type operated by France, a German defense ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the Washington Post Tuesday.
The French government earlier this year signed a deal to buy the Lockheed plane operated also by the U.S. Air Force and a large number of other military forces.
The C-130J purchase should give the German air force certainty that it will have the ability to provide airlift in crisis situations, the spokesman said. The German air force's fleet of Transall cargo planes is aging and in need of replacement.
The French and German defense ministries have been anchor members of a consortium of seven countries backing the development and production of Airbus's A400M military cargo plane. The project has suffered repeated technical problems and schedule delays, spurring interest among the two countries to buy extra cargo planes.